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Health & Social Care students visit NI Assembly

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Belfast Met Year 2 Health & Social Care students recently paid a visit to the Northern Ireland Assembly to help contextualise their social policy teaching, providing them with a fantastic learning experience.

The field trip was organised by lecturer Gerry Skelton who commented, “Once again, this proved a very valuable teaching and learning experience for the students; despite the obvious and regrettable absence of the NI Government! However, we were joined by one party’s MLA and another’s Press spokesman, who kindly gave of their time to address the students and respond to their good questions.

The primary focus of the visit is to help establish the absolute importance of our primary political institution in NI, and relating social policy priorities to service provision and users / carers’ experiences. I am proud of the way the class conducted and represented themselves and Belfast Met. My gratitude, as always, for the input of NI Assembly staff, especially Anne-Marie and Janice Thompson who made the whole experience so worthwhile.”

Karolina Gaweda, a second year Health & Social care student spoke about the trip and how it will benefit her studies saying, “I really enjoyed our visit and talk from Anne-Marie and Janice and the quality of information from the RAiSe website. I was surprised about the amount of topics the website covers and how it helps our social policy module” with fellow student Robyn Briscoe adding, “We really appreciated our lecturer Gerry organising our trip to the Northern Ireland Assembly and for the staff who spoke with us. It was also nice to hear about the work of MLAs”.

Pat Crolly (Course Coordinator) commented, “I want to thank Gerry for his commitment to annually taking the time and trouble to plan this visit and, as in all the previous years, it is clearly well worth the hard work and effort put in! The now annual ‘NI Assembly’ trip provides an enriching and valuable experience for our students! Feedback from the class was – as always -very positive; they clearly not only learned about the operation of the Assembly in relation to social policy but also got the opportunity to engage with a researcher and bring back valuable learning to the research methods unit. The experience of visiting the institutions of government and meeting legislators has clearly had a positive impact on our students!”

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